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It’s F-F-Freeeezing!

This week was full of lots of fibery fun.  Zoe is back to finish her internship and a brand new intern, Kate, started too!Freezing Hand Painted FiberThursday was FREEZING!  Zoe and I dyed fibers.  Within minutes the hot steaming fiber, hanging up to dry, turned into fibercicles.

Basket full of fiberAlso, I made a couple new yarns.

Carded Batts created from basket of fluffFinished Handspun Yarn

Finished Handspun YarnOne more made this last week too!  This one was a demonstration for Kate to show her how the drum carder and spinning wheel work.  Here’s the basket of fluff:

Basket of FiberBecause I was sharing the process with Kate, I missed taking a photograph of the carded batt.  Below is the picture of the finished yarn:

Handspun YarnLastly, the week was full of lots of new felted soaps:

Felted Soaps by The Twisted PurlSorry for all the pictures and few words, but this week was crazy busy!

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It’s been an all Natural Kind of Week

Daisy Covered with BlanketOur sweet dog, Daisy, is great at covering up and hiding. She actually pulls the folded blankets up off the back of the couch and wraps herself up in them!  Sometimes she even pulls multiple blankets and makes a comfy looking blanket fort for herself.  But, put a handmade sweater on her she looks like she has been given a death sentence.  Go figure!

The start of the new year has been a bit like that for me, I’ve wanted to just stay in bed with the blanket over my head.  No real reason!  Just with all this cold weather, my toasty bed is just such a warm, comfy spot.

Staying in bed is not an option though!  I’m a work from home mom of three boys and run a full time (over time/all the time) company.  I definitely love every moment of it, but it keeps me busy!

This week, I’ve received a custom order for an all natural, alpaca scarf.  Alpaca naturally come in a variety of beautiful colors.  Here’s the basket of fluff, containing a good color mix of alpaca.  All Natural Alpaca Variety ColorsI’m particularly found of this alpaca. It came from my favorite local alpaca farm, here in Conway.  Once I picked free the few pieces of hay remaining in the fiber, I blended the colors together through a drum carder.  Below are the carded batts created.Carded Batts All Natural AplacaThe fiber then went through the spinning wheel and turned into a new all natural alpaca handspun yarn.All Natural Aplaca Handspun YarnFinally, below is the finished scarf.  This was a custom order and will be given as a birthday present next weekend. Hope she loves it!Finished Alpaca ScarfFinishing up the week on a natural note, I made several new sets of wool felted dryer balls.All Natural Dryer BallsLots of exciting things are coming up in the next week.  We have a new intern starting on Tuesday!  Zoe is starting back on Thursday too. 🙂 Lots of new goodies are coming your way.

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Cupid Puked Pink all Over the Studio

Pink and Purple Fibers ready to steam after dye I had a massive dyed day the other day and guess what the major color theme was?  Yup!  Cupid just came along and puked pink all over the studio.  With Valentine’s Day coming up and spring just around the corner, it was time to bust out the pink shades. Here are the fibers hanging up to dry:

Pink Wool DryingOnce dried, I blended a few of the colors together with both more reds and some yellows and created these carded batts:

Pink Carded battsFrom the card batts I felted a few soaps.  Retail Stores want Valentine’s Day Soaps for their stores.I Heart Felted Soap

Giving soap to a loved one is a funny thought for the holiday of love.  They do make excellent teacher, family, or co-worker gifts.  Unless you need to tell your significant other they stink or to clean up their act….then by all means! Felted Soap is the perfect gift. 😉Pink Spring Felted SoapsWith the freshly dyed pink fibers, I also created a new “Fluff to String” handspun yarn.  Here is the basket of fluff:Basket of carefully selected fibers to be turned into Handmade YarnThe Carded Batt:

Carded Batt created from Basket of FluffThe Finished Handspun Yarn:

Handmade Yarn Valentine's DayThis yarn is now available in our store. Check it out!

close up of semi-coiled handspun yarnWhat are you up to for Valentine’s Day?  Do you have lots of crafty things in store?  I’d love to hear all about it. ♥

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How to make a Dry Soup Mix in a Jar-Woo Pig Soupie

Here’s a quick little handmade gift you can make to give to all the Razorback fans in your life.  Of course, you can us different pasta, but we had these super cute Razorback Pastas and Woo Pig Soupie was a must make for our holiday gift giving.

WooPigSoupieThis Christmas, I wanted to do something a little different. I try to give a little handmade something to my friends and my husband’s coworkers and boss every year.  In addition to the handmade cookies we make for my husband’s entire crew (what a production that is!).  One of my boys had a school fundraiser with pasta and I knew exactly what I had to make.  Razorback PastaA dry soup mix in a jar is the perfect thing to give!

We gathered up all the materials and laid it all out on the island.  We made nine- 3 pint jars, it was quite the sight.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos of the production line, but you can imagine! I bought the 3 Pint Jars at Hobby Lobby.

Here’s the dry ingredients you need to gather:

Ingredients:
1 cup dry split peas
2/3 cup beef bouillon granules
1/2 cup pearl barley
1 cup dry lentils
1/2 cup dried onion flakes
4 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
4 bay leaves
1 cup uncooked Razorback Pasta

Carefully layer in this order: split peas, bouillon, barley, lentils, onion flakes, Italian seasoning, rice, and bay leaves. Place the pasta in a plastic bag or plastic wrap, and place in top of jar.Jar up closeAt first, I really didn’t want to put the pasta in plastic just because of the look, but it does make it easier to remove for cooking.  If I make these again, just for looks and not for actual consumption, I would place the pasta directly in the jar with no wrap.

After much family debate, our youngest came up with the idea of calling the soups “Woo Pig Soupie” (he’s brilliant…must take after his mom HA!).

I used a Razorback ribbon to wrap around the top of the jar.  Then printed out the labels with instructions on how to cook and what extra ingredients need to be added.

Print a label to put on the soup with this information:

[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS: 2 pound ground beef, black pepper to taste, garlic powder to taste, 2 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes – undrained, 2 (6 ounce) can tomato paste, and 6 quarts water. TO PREPARE SOUP: Remove pasta from jar, and set aside. In a large pot over medium heat, brown beef with pepper and garlic; drain fat. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and soup mix. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low. Cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir in the pasta, cover, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pasta, peas, lentils and barley are tender.[/box]

Because all of our friends are not Razorback fans (can’t believe we have such people in our lives…I know 😉 ), we also made a Roll Tide Soup with Alabama pasta and a Rock Chalk Jayhawk Woo Pig Soupie (for a house divided with 1/2 cup Jayhawk Pasta and 1/2 cup Razorback Pasta).  The possibilities are really endless…but of course I love my Razorbacks, so in my book, “Woo Pig Soupie” is the best!

Hope you had a very Merry Christmas holiday season and a happy and safe New Year celebration.  We here at The Twisted Purl are looking forward to 2014 and all the fun things it will bring.

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New Year New Crafty Giveaway

Happy 2014!!!

Let’s celebrate the New Year with a new crafty giveaway! Most have made New Year’s Resolutions and some want to get more crafty. Crafty resolutions are the best.

The Twisted Purl wants to help by giving away this little learn to knit kit.

I want to hear why handmade is important to you or what makes handmade special. Just leave a comment below for a chance to win.

Pin this for an extra chance to win!
Pin this for an extra chance to win!

Our new shop has opened directly on our website too: Check out the items available in the shop by clicking here.

PinkLemonade Handmade YarnIt’s no secret I’m a big handmade fanatic. You’ll find me at shows talking to people about their crafts and giving high fives to those who have embraced knitting and crocheting as a hobby.

I taught myself to knit only to find out, ironically enough, AFTER naming the business, I was twisting all my purls.  But, that didn’t hinder my wish or ability to create. It’s in my blood!

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Because I’m such a fan of handmade and do believe everyone should have some sort of yarn craft in their bag of tricks, I love to pass on these little learn to knit kits. Giving them out at shows when I see a future yarnaholic in the making.

 Would you like to win your very own Learn to Knit Kit?

Win this kit to teach yourself how to knit.

[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Kit includes: Pocket Guide, Single Point Knitting Needles Size 8, with a Special Left-Handed Section[/box]

Learn a new skill or pass it on to someone you know would be a knitting rock star. 2014 is the year you tap into your creative side and learn to knit.HandmadeYarn.comAll you have to do is leave a comment below explaining why you love handmade or why you believe handmade is important.

For extra chances to win:

  • Like our Facebook Page and comment on the top pinned post
  • Join us on Twitter and  Tweet why you love handmade (be sure to mention  @TheTwistedPurl)
  • Pin it on Pinterest with @TwistedPurl in comment for an extra entry.

To keep up with all our upcoming contests in 2014 and to get coupons to use in our new online store, please join our Newsletter Mailing List.

Contest Details: Entries are accepted through midnight January, 11, 2014. A winner is announced on Sunday, January 12, 2014 on our blog and through our various social media outlets.  Some comments might be used in future blog posts. The winner will be chosen by random number.  No purchase necessary to win.  Good luck and happy crafting!!!